Healthy jambalaya recipe

We’ve been inspired by the classic Creole dish jambalaya to create this delicious one pot rice dish. Low in calories and bursting with flavour, this is a great weeknight dinner that all the family will love.

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Jambalaya is a popular dish in the southern states of America, originating in Louisiana and featuring in both Cajun and Creole cuisines. Our version is closer to the creole variety as it contains tomatoes.

There are countless different recipes for jambalaya, though all will contain sausage, rice and vegetables, and most will contain another kind of meat or seafood – we’ve gone for chicken breast.

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The dish traditionally contains andouille sausage, which is not readily available in the UK. We’ve swapped in some thinly sliced spicy chorizo instead.

So, if you’re looking for an authentic Louisiana-style jambalaya, this isn’t it. But if you’re looking for a delicious and easy-to-make dish filled with creole-inspired warming spices, you’re in for a treat.

To make this dish a little healthier than usual, we’ve reduced the meat content and kept an eye on the salt levels. We’ve packed in the veg too; this should serve up three of your 5 A Day.

We love this dish because it serves up layers of comforting flavour with relatively little effort. Once you’ve cooked your onions, chicken and chorizo, it just takes a few minutes’ heat to wake up the spices and then the rest of the ingredients go into the same pot to bubble away happily.

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Our recipe recommends boil-in-the-bag rice, a time-saving ingredient you’ll find in a lot of our recipes as it cuts down the cooking time significantly. You can absolutely use regular rice; the dish will simply take longer to cook. If you can, do use brown rice. Even the fussiest of our taste-testers embraced this healthy swap.

There’s a decent amount of protein in this dish, but if you’re looking to add more you could add a handful of prawns per person. Add these right at the end and stir through until pink; they should only take a few minutes.

If you want to add extra vegetables, jambalaya can accommodate most varieties. Sliced mushrooms, courgettes or frozen peas all work well, and we often sprinkle over chopped spring onions before serving.

This is a dish that tastes even better the next day, but as always you should be careful when cooling and reheating rice. This guide on safely reheating rice should tell you what you need to know.

RECIPE

Healthy one pot jambalaya with chorizo and chicken

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

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1 tbsp olive oil

1 large or 2 small onions, finely chopped

100g spicy chorizo, sliced thinly*

100g chicken breast cut into bitesize pieces

1 tbsp creole seasoning mix**

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 peppers, chopped
Or
160g frozen sliced peppers

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 chicken stock cube

3 packs boil-in-the-bag/10-minute brown rice (1 portion = half a bag/62.5g dry weight)

*Tip: Be sure to buy pre-cooked chorizo and not the kind you need to cook at home (the latter are normally labelled ‘cooking chorizo’ so should be easy to spot).

They’re available in most supermarkets and half a sausage is about the right amount for this recipe. Slice it very thinly so it goes further.

**Creole seasoning mix is quite readily available in the UK, but if you can’t find it, or prefer making your own mix, we’ve included our recipe below.

Creole seasoning mix recipe

Simply mix the below ingredients together to create your spice mix:

  • 2 ½ tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme

This makes about three tablespoons. Store the remainder in an airtight container to use again.

METHOD

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1. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and cook the onion until soft. Add the chorizo and chicken and cook, stirring every now and again, until the chicken is cooked through.

2. Add the spice mix, garlic and peppers and cook for a few minutes until fragrant. You’ll need to stir regularly so it doesn’t catch.

3. Pour in the chopped tomatoes, fill the empty tin with water and add this to the pan too. Crumble in the stock cube and add the tomato puree and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil.

4. Add the rice and, if needed, enough extra water so that all the rice is covered by liquid. Bring back to the boil then turn down to a simmer. Once the rice has soaked up the liquid it should be ready to eat.

This goes nicely with greens – from a simple salad to broccoli or green beans.



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